Transfer News: Striker returns to Chelsea, plus other updates and deals

Chelsea fans are already rejoicing as their former striker is set to make a comeback to the club years after leaving the Stamford Bridge outfit.

As we all know that the January transfer window is currently open for all teams to add new faces to their squad, we bring you the latest transfer news across Europe this Sunday.

These news are sourced from, Sky Sports, BBC Sports, ESPN, NBC sports, The SUN and other top sports websites.

Chelsea are ready to join the summer chase for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
France centre-back Upamecano is set to be a man in demand in the next transfer window.

The 22 year-old signed a new Leipzig deal last year which contains a release clause of around £40m, a low fee for one of Europe’s emerging young defenders.

The Blues have become the latest club to express an interest in activating the clause, which becomes effective in the summer, in Upamecano’s contract.

Leipzig are determined to hold onto Upamecano this month, despite the opportunity to secure a higher price closer to his market value, leaving a summer move a more likely prospect for his suitors.

Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal termination details emerge with potential £7.2m pay off

The details of Mesut Ozil’s contract termination at Arsenal have been revealed as the German edges closer to a move away from the club.

Ozil is believed to be on the cusp of a move to Fenerbahce after the door was closed to a return to first team action at Arsenal.

It was initially thought that he would join the Super Lig side on loan for the rest of the season, with the Gunners picking up his £350,000-a-week wages, before his contract expires at the end of this campaign when he would make the move permanent.

However, Ozil may be free to make the move long-term this month as Arsenal are planning on terminating his contract if an agreement can be met.

Pogba to remain at United Until Summer

According to Sky Sports, Paul Pogba will remain at Manchester United in the January transfer window with his future set to decided in the summer.

From talking to people around the player and around his agent, Mino Raiola, the feeling is that it’s really difficult for a transfer to happen in January. It’s really complicated for Juventus to spend €100m on a player in January.

Sky Sports also said Pogba is respecting Manchester United and also the manager. He’s staying until the summer and then we’ll have Paul Pogba on the market.

Brandon Williams: Manchester United defender wanted by Southampton

Manchester United defender Brandon Williams is a January loan target for Southampton.

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl failed in a bid to land the England Under-21 international on loan in the summer.

Williams remains one of a number of players being considered at St Mary’s as Southampton look to strengthen their defensive options, especially as he can fill both full-back roles.

The arrival of Alex Telles in October means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be more likely to sanction a loan deal next month.

Williams has featured only five times for United this season, with his last appearance coming as a second-half substitute in the 3-2 Champions League defeat away to RB Leipzig earlier this month.

The 20-year-old has played only once in the Premier League so far in 2020/21, once again appearing as a second-half substitute in the 3-2 victory at Southampton in November.

Williams enjoyed a superb breakthrough campaign for United last season, making 36 appearances in all competitions as the club finished third in the Premier League.

Southampton currently sit in fourth place, three points and four places above United, although they have played a game more.

Yannick Bolasie: Middlesbrough hoping to sign Everton winger on loan in January

Middlesbrough are hoping to sign Everton winger Yannick Bolasie on loan in January.

Boro manager Neil Warnock worked with Bolasie during his time at Crystal Palace and believes the 31-year-old could play a key role in their bid for promotion.

Bolasie was in talks to join Middlesbrough on Deadline Day in October, but the deal broke down.

At the time, Bolasie said via his official Twitter account: “Disappointed the deal couldn’t get done in time…signed & sent off, waited till 19.00 with real hope.

“From my end I know I was willing to give up a lot…all I wanna do is say thank you to Neil Warnock (appreciate you so much) and wish Middlesbrough all the best this season.

“But now my focus is back on Everton & continuing to work hard every day like I have been & if I’m called upon I’ll be ready to do whatever is necessary. Real ones know I speak from the heart nothing more nothing less.”

Bolasie is one of a number of January targets for Warnock, who may have additional funds available if he cuts short Patrick Roberts’ loan deal from Manchester City.

The DR Congo international has since not featured for Everton this season and is not considered part of manager Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team plans.

Bolasie joined Everton from Palace for £25m in August 2016, but suffered a serious knee injury less than four months later.

He has featured just 32 times for Everton in four years, with his last appearance for the club coming back in May 2018.

Bolasie has spent the past two seasons out on loan, having spells with Aston Villa, Anderlecht and Sporting Lisbon.

Demarai Gray: Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers says winger is likely to leave

Demarai Gray can leave Leicester City after failing to make an impression under manager Brendan Rodgers. The 24-year-old winger’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is not part of Rodgers’ plans

Gray – a title winner with the Foxes in 2016 – has played just once in the Carabao Cup this season.

Rodgers said: “It’s pretty clear with Demarai that he’s looking to move on. His attitude to training has been first class, he has been very professional.

“He is at the stage of his career where he has been here a long time and hasn’t maybe nailed down a place. A fresh start may be the course for him.

“I will always respect him and until his last day I will never discard him but it’s looking more than likely he will probably be somewhere else next season.”

Gray joined from Birmingham for £3.5m in 2016, playing 12 times to help the Foxes to a shock Premier League crown.

He has made 168 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals, but has not featured in Rodgers’ top-flight squads this season.

Rodgers dismisses Tielemans exit talk

Rodgers has dismissed the suggestion that midfielder Youri Tielemans might be leaving in January.

The 23-year-old Belgium international has continually impressed since arriving on a permanent deal from Monaco in the summer of 2019.

His adviser, Peter Smeets, told VoetbalNiuews that Tielemans “has his own dreams” and that “there is a lot of interest in him”.

But Rodgers played down the comments, feeling it is par for the course, with the January transfer window about to open.

“You see that with stories around this time, the agents are just starting to warm up now and get a few stories out,” said the Leicester boss.

“So, I am sure in Youri’s case it is no different. He is a very talented player and has been fantastic for us in the time he has been here.

“Until anything changes, and until my last day (at the club) I will continue to help him, as a player, improve.

“He is a real joy to work with, fantastic. He loves football, prepares his life to be the best player he can be.

“He is still very young but he has achieved so much.

“Thankfully, he’s a hungry young player who wants to improve and develop – and he is doing that here.”

Jonny Evans: Leicester City open contract talks with Northern Ireland defender

Jonny Evans joined Leicester from West Brom in June 2018; The Northern Ireland defender is keen to extend his contract despite reports linking him with a free transfer to former club Manchester United next summer. Leicester City have opened talks with defender Jonny Evans over a new two-year contract, although both sides have yet to reach an agreement on wages.

Evans, 32, is an integral part of Brendan Rodgers’ plans and the Northern Ireland international is understood to be very happy at the King Power Stadium.

Evans is keen to extend his contract despite reports linking him with a free transfer to his former club Manchester United next summer.

Both Leicester and Evans are confident a deal can be reached, with negotiations said to still be amicable.

Jurgen Klopp unsure if Liverpool will bolster defence in January transfer window

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes it is “paramount” the champions sign a centre-back in January to ensure they are able to retain the title. However, Klopp has told Sky Sports News the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic means the decision is not so straightforward.

“I know but that is not new, that’s always the case,” Klopp said of speculation, when asked if Matip returning to full fitness would put an end to talk about a new centre-back arriving in January.

“I can’t really say anything about that, but you can imagine, six months ago we talked about how much all football clubs struggle and thank God we could keep going, and it helped all the clubs as well.

“But it’s still not the time where you really just…” the Liverpool boss appears to signal money being thrown around before continuing, “At least not for us. I don’t know exactly how it is at other clubs, but we have to be really cautious and very serious, and so I don’t know what we can and what we can’t do.”

Costa wants Premier League move as Chelsea eyes him

Diego Costa would love to return to the Premier League. He had some bids from Brazilian and Turkish clubs the day after he ended his contract with Atletico Madrid but decided to wait a bit. He is in no rush.

He hopes to receive some bids from the Premier League. At the moment I don’t have anything confirmed about Wolves. There are a lot of rumours but nothing advanced.

It has also be reported as Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, is in search of a new striker and might accept Diego Costa as Giroud replacement.

But for sure, Diego is waiting for a call from the Premier League. He would love to come back, he loves the atmosphere.

Folarin Balogun: Arsenal striker likely to leave club for free in summer

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is increasingly likely to see out the remaining six months of his contract and leave for free in the summer.

The 19-year-old is allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club this month and the player and his representatives are in talks with a number of clubs.

As it stands, Balogun is unlikely to go out on loan this month amid interest from a number of clubs in the Championship.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the club are doing all they can to keep him. Arteta claims Balogun wants to stay but questions whether his agent wants the same.

He said at his news conference on Thursday morning: “The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.

“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.

“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”

Arteta confirmed Balogun is available for Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round tie with Newcastle on Saturday evening.

He has scored two goals in four Europa League appearances from the bench this season and was a 77th-minute substitute in Arsenal’s 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City last month.

Arteta: Ozil can leave in Jan if deal good for us

Mesut Ozil can leave Arsenal in the January window if the deal is right for both the club and the midfielder, Arteta has said.

Ozil’s representatives are in talks with a number of clubs, including Fenerbahce and DC United – although the player’s priority is to see out his Arsenal contract until the summer – and Arteta has also not ruled out that possibility.

The 32-year-old, not registered by the Gunners for the first half of the Premier League season and has yet to be included in a matchday squad in any competition this season despite being one of the club’s highest earners, is free to talk to clubs this month with his current Arsenal deal expiring at the end of the season.

Ozil’s agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, has told Sky Sports News “in the next seven to 10 days it will be a little clearer” around the player who earns around £350,000 per week and has previously said he wants to see out his contract at Arsenal.

Quizzed about Ozil ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round match against Newcastle on Saturday, Arteta said: “If something is sorted this month [in the January transfer window], it’s because it’s good for both parties.”

RB Leipzig hint they’re willing to listen to offers for Man Utd & Liverpool-linked Upamecano

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has opened the door to a possible transfer for centre-back Dayot Upamecano after insisting that the Bundesliga club will always consider selling their assets for the right price.

The likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for Frenchman Upamecano, who is considered one of Europe’s top young players.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have previously seen their star names leave, with Timo Werner’s £47.5 million switch to Chelsea the most high-profile example, and Upamecano could well be the next to head out the exit door.

The German club’s CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has told SportBild that they will “sell top performers again if it makes financial sense”, opening the door for some of Europe’s elite clubs to make a bid for the France international.

Still, the suggestion that Leipzig would be willing to discuss a transfer will only serve to alert the attention of some of Europe’s heavyweight clubs, with competition to sign the defender likely to be high.

In terms of a possible fee, it has been reported that Upamecano, who is contracted to Leipzig until 2023, has a €42 million (£39m/$51m) release clause that will become active in the summer.

And it’s not just Upamecano who is likely to be in demand, with the message from Mintzlaff also applying to Marcel Sabitzer, who has been linked with a switch to Tottenham and Arsenal in recent times.

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